Garcelle Beauvais On 'RHOBH' And The Growth Of Daytime Talk Show 'The Real': The Audience Has Also Grown
Photo Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic
Reality , Reality Interviews

Garcelle Beauvais On 'RHOBH' And The Growth Of Daytime Talk Show 'The Real': The Audience Has Also Grown

When Garcelle Beauvais announced that she was signing on as the newest co-host of the daytime talk show The Real in 2020, many were excited to see what Beauvais would bring to the show, but some thought that it may not be a fit. A couple of years later and now she proved that she’s been a much-needed addition and the audience loves her.

Outside of taking over daytime TV, Beauvais made history as the first Black housewife on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Going into her third full season, Beauvais has masterfully handled throwing witty shade while going through a reality show known for drama practically unscathed. 

Shadow and Act spoke with Beauvais on the success of Housewives as well as the second wind Beauvais is getting in her career. She also speaks a bit about what she’s excited for next.

‘The Real’ is continuing to do its thing. The show has been on since 2013 and you’ve been on the show for nearly two years now. It seems like you've really settled into your role as co-host of daytime TV. How has this transition been for you going from acting to reality television, to now being a daytime talk show host?

The daytime talk show world has always been on my bucket list. It’s what I wanted to do even before acting. Acting came by way of me starting off modeling, so it just made sense and I was getting work and it was what kept me stable. So when I finally told my team this is where I want to go, they were like, “Well, you’re doing so well.” But I’m like, “No, I have to follow my gut.” I love it.

I was up for The View, The Talk,  I co-hosted The Hollywood Today Live in L.A. So I’ve been planting seeds and finally saw – the Universe and God – that it was time for something bigger and then I got The Real. And obviously, I was a fan of the show. I had been on before promoting different things. But it’s a different situation now that I’m one of the hosts. 

How are you balancing that? Because I know that being on a reality show like 'Housewives,' filming takes up several months of your life and several hours of your day. And then, you're still acting and you’re a mom. So what is the key thing for you having to be on TV five days a week in balancing all of this?

Well, the key thing is to hydrate, to try to get some sleep and pray because there are times that I will go right from The Real to Housewives, and then come home late and then have to prepare for the next show the next day. So sometimes I hit a wall. And let me tell you, when I hit those walls, I turn off my phone. I go in my room, I take a bath, I listen to any R&B that soothes my soul. In this industry, momentum is everything. And I have momentum now with everything that I’m doing. So I want to capitalize on it and I want to seize the moment.  

I like that you said that because fans don’t consider you to be old, but after women reach a certain age in the industry, historically they have been pushed to the side. But I feel like nowadays it's the opposite and women 40+ are getting a rejuvenation in their careers.

I’m so happy you brought that up. It’s true. I remember when I first started out, I would hear women say, “Oh, after 40. Forget about it. You can’t get a job. People don’t consider you sexy.”f And I think we’ve changed that narration, and we’re also giving the young girls a run for their money, by the way. I think we know how to take care of ourselves. We know what we want. We’re at an age where we give zero effs. And I think it’s empowering. I think women are doing more now.

Look at the people who are green lighting TV shows. You have Viola Davis, you have, Kerry Washington. Halle Berry is still amazing. So I think it’s great that women are doing so many things. And it’s interesting we’re talking about this today on International Women’s Day. It’s really great to see that we’re not put out to pasture just because of our age. Age is just the number. It’s the spirit of the person that I care about. 

Getting back to ‘The Real,’ I've mentioned the show has been on since 2013, before it was even greenlit for an actual season. But there have been changes that have happened with the show, changing hosts, and so much controversy. But it’s been the little engine that could and has won NAACP Image Awards and continues to make way. Why do you think that’s the case?

I think there has been a lot of drama prior to me, but I think  the show has grown, and I think the audience has grown with the show. So I think we’re having much more important conversations, more meaningful conversations. We’re talking about Black Lives Matter now and that’s a powerful voice and a platform to have. And at the same time, with all women of color as hosts. So I think the show has grown up.

We’re talking about things that maybe they didn’t talk about earlier. So I think people are seeing there’s a difference and we’re also having a great time in terms of the fact that we laugh a lot. We play a lot, but yet we still have great conversations. 

I think that's another reason why the show has been able to sustain itself. Initially, the target was a younger more diverse audience and the topics were centered around pop culture, relationships, and beauty. But I've definitely noticed the transition from that to discussions that are more culturally relevant. So you're saying that behind the scenes, that switch has been intentional?

Yeah and I think you can’t get away from what’s happening in the world and if we’re a talk show, we have to talk about it and I love that we get to talk about it from our community. And I think and like I said before, I really feel like this show has grown, but so has the audience.

The show has been on since 2013. So say the audience members were 25 when the show started, now, they’re much older. There’s different things we’re talking about. Now the audience who started with us wants to know how to manage your money, how to manage expectations. And there are some things that are sometimes heavy, but sometimes we also make them light. But people are really talking about this in the real world, so we should be too as well.

Outside of acting and ‘The Real,’ you are considered legendary in our culture. We loved you as Fancy on ‘The Jamie Foxx Show’ and now we get to see you on a show like ‘Housewives’ and as the first Black full-time cast member on the Beverly Hills franchise. It’s been great for the audience to see that there are successful Black women in Beverly Hills. And you’re going on three seasons on the show. Why do reality television?

I was willing to try it for a couple of reasons. For one, I wanted to be home more because I was traveling a lot when I was doing more acting and my kids are getting older, they’re teenagers and I really wanted to be home. And then I thought, You know what? There should be diversity in Beverly Hills or on all of the franchises. So I had to talk to my team and had to convince them it was a good idea because they were like, ‘We don’t know.’

But I think why people took a liking to me on the show is because I’m relatable. Although I can live a glamorous life, I’m also really hands on with my kids and I’m really going to basketball games and volleyball games. And I’m doing things that people can relate to. And I think that’s something that maybe they weren’t they didn’t get before me on the show. And being a Black woman and just bringing my flavor and my thoughts – I think that’s also a different take. 

Has this platform been beneficial for you? Now, we are seeing you venture out into different business opportunities.

For sure. And I think that’s why a lot of the women do it. You get to show who you are. And I wish the women got more credit for being bosses and doing things, especially at a certain age. I wish people would focus on that a little bit, except for the drama, but the drama is juicy and I get it. But I think it definitely is a platform for you to venture out and do whatever it is that you want to do.

I love seeing the relationship with you and your older son, Oliver. I thank you for sharing that because that is very relatable, whether you're in Hollywood or not, and especially within our communities. So thank you for being so in bringing your flavor to the show.

Thank you so much. I think it’s important. Families go through addiction and all kinds of things every day. And I think for us to hide it is doing a disservice because maybe it can help somebody watching. 

The Real airs weekdays in syndication.

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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